Phone call from Crazyville.

My cell phone rang yesterday. I answered it the way I always do for a number I don’t recognize: “Hello, this is Nancy.”

“Nancy, are you in the Tea Party?” a belligerent male voice demanded.

“Who is calling, please?” I replied.

“It’s a simple question: Are you in the Tea Party,” he repeated, just as belligerent.

I hung up. The phone number was from Wilmington, Del., and the reverse lookup was for someone named Jackson. My cell number isn’t widely known, but it’s out there. Is craziness in the air these days? It must be. Why should only the U.S. Congress be affected?

It turned out the same guy called my colleague in Lansing, who started laughing. Might have been the better response.

I recall a guy who rang the city desk in Columbus one night and started raving about the IRA and the British monarchy. We were just leaving for dinner, and the editor who answered put the receiver down on the desk. We left and when we returned an hour later, the guy was still raving. I hung up the phone on the words “right down the queen’s chimney,” followed by a cackle.

It was a craptastic day all around. As I hinted yesterday, our health insurance in the new year is skyrocketing. Which means we’ll be moving to my employer’s plan, but that can’t happen until mid-year 2014. Which means it was one of those days I spent figuring expenses we can cut, while simultaneously trying to gather data for a story, but guess what? Any data website run by the federal government is down.

Here’s something you shouldn’t do on a bad day: Read the comments on a story. Take this one, for example. It’s a column by a grad student at Johns Hopkins, explaining all the ways the shutdown is affecting her life. I read it with a sinking heart, knowing the comments on the story would be horrible, as the accepted narrative seems to be that nothing all that bad is happening, and anyone who goes to grad school to study “environmental change and demographic transition theory” must be a twee egghead and all the rest of it.

To be sure, they weren’t that bad, but they were depressing. Don’t read the comments. EVER.

Don’t read stories like this, either:

Many members of an audience of mostly Ole Miss students, including an estimated 20 Ole Miss football players, openly disrespected and disrupted the Ole Miss theater department’s production of “The Laramie Project” Tuesday night at the Meek Auditorium.

Cast members of the play, which is about an openly gay male who was murdered in Laramie County in Wyoming, said members of the audience became so disruptive at times that they struggled completing the play.

It’s just too much of a bummer.

Let’s move on to black comedy. It wasn’t a great day for Indiana congressmen in general. Besides the much-discussed story about Marlin Stutzman, there was this:

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), a member of the House Committee on the Budget, was invited to discuss the government shutdown on this morning’s CNN Newsroom, but the congressman seemed far more interested in hitting on the host instead.

After Carol Costello called Rokita out over the “divisive approach” taken by Republicans to arrive at a resolution that benefits them alone, the lawmaker retorted by “mansplaining” the situation to the anchor.

“I don’t know if you have children yet, I’m sure you don’t have grandchildren yet, you look much too young, but we’re fighting for them,” Rokita told Costello. “Carol, do you have any idea how much this law is going to cost?”

There were later comments about Carol’s loveliness. I wonder what Mrs. Rokita thinks of that.

Here’s Charles Pierce on Stutzman.

And now let’s change it up a bit.

Oprah Winfrey is cutting her ties to Chicago. Neil Steinberg bids her farewell:

As much as you liked to float your Chicago street cred when basking in the endless celebrity limelight that trailed you like your own personal sun, it wasn’t as if you were ever really here beyond the confines of your 15,000-square-foot Water Tower Place duplex. Not a lot of Oprah sightings in all those years you did that hall-of-mirrors show of yours. No river of Oprah bucks watering thirsty Chicago charities. More like a trickle.

…Or, in your defense, the public’s gullibility was already there, and you just reflected it. You had your moments. Sure, too many were spent in squealing worship of brand materialism as its basest. But sometimes you rose above: One show, you sent a family from St. Louis to live in Mongolia in yurts. It was interesting.

(I should probably say, in the spirit of full disclosure, that I was a guest on Oprah’s show once, nearly 20 years ago, promoting my second book. A four-hour ordeal I remember as a blur of endless waiting punctuated by frantic assistant producers with clipboards lunging past, of fellow guests blinking in wonder at indoor plumbing, of cheap vending machine muffins sweating oil in their plastic wrap, piled in the Green Room by minions of the richest woman after Queen Elizabeth II. Of how flinty, disinterested and queenly in a bad way you were in person. It is not a happy memory).

OID: A shots-fired police raid across from an elementary school. Leads to a change in policy. OK.

And I think that’s it for now. Have a good weekend, all. I think I’ll be firing our cleaning lady. With regret.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol', Television |
 

68 responses to “Phone call from Crazyville.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 4, 2013 at 1:20 am

    The church secretary that I work with is new to the scene, so to speak. I came in today and she handed me a note from a Rev. Blank Blankness who called and kept her on the line a while, explaining that he needed to speak to me about the spirits from beyond — “you call them angels, don’t you?” — whose voices he hears, and who apparently sometimes text him. She had him repeat that, and wrote it down for me.

    I’m almost curious enough to call him and learn about how the spirits do the text thing. Do they use shorthand, or is it all spelled out with good punctuation?

  2. Sherri said on October 4, 2013 at 2:10 am

    Jeff(tmmo), I’m sure they have iPhones, so they have the iPhone spelling correction (complete with its strange word substitutions.)

  3. Dexter said on October 4, 2013 at 2:36 am

    New light is shining on the Matthew Shepard story, and it doesn’t seem that we were told anything close to what happened out there in the wilds all those years ago. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/12/stephen-jimenez-matthew-shepard_n_3914707.html

    Crazy world…I just got my paperwork for company retiree healthcare elections and my costs are going up 34%, then in January I get shuffled over to a different administrator, losing BCBS forever, and I also then lose all co-pay benefits, having to pay the doctors in-full until I meet my yearly deductible, after that, I am confused, as I just got the mailing today.
    A woman is shot dead in DC…who knows what possessed her? Asshole crotch-rocket terrorists are in the news as the West Side Highway incident from Sunday has blown up the internet.

    Five baseball games on TV the past four days and none were close…it’ll get better now as I can concentrate on Detroit as the Ohio teams are gone now. This will be fun.

  4. alex said on October 4, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Dex, the far right has made a cottage industry of discrediting Matthew Shepard and all efforts to punish hate crimes generally, so this book isn’t any more surprising than those offering up proof that Obama was born in Kenya and that Dubya pressed the red button that dynamited the twin towers. As is discussed here.

    Regarding bullshit peddlers, I was particularly taken aback to see the below item on the facebook page of an acquaintance, not to mention the number of her friends giving it mad props. Some people’s critical faculties are no match for their prejudices, it seems:

    Finally the truth!! What has happened to this country?

    Still confused why House Republicans want to defund Obamacare?
    Page 50/section 152: The bill will provide insurance to all non-U.S. residents, even if they are here illegally.
    **
    Page 58 and 59: The government will have real-time access to an individual’s bank account and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts.
    **
    Page 65/section 164: The plan will be subsidized (by the government) for all union members, union retirees and for community organizations (such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now – ACORN).
    **
    Page 203/line 14-15: The tax imposed under this section will not be treated as a tax. (How could anybody in their right mind come up with that?)
    **
    Page 241 and 253: Doctors will all be paid the same regardless of specialty, and the government will set all doctors’ fees.
    **
    Page 272. section 1145: Cancer hospital will ration care according to the patient’s age. AGE 76, YOU WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR ANY CANCER TREATMENTS.
    **
    Page 317 and 321: The government will impose a prohibition on hospital expansion; however, communities may petition for an exception.
    **
    Page 425, line 4-12: The government mandates advance-care planning consultations. Those on Social Security will be required to attend an “end-of-life planning” seminar every five years. (Death counseling..)
    **
    Page 429, line 13-25: The government will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order.
    Still think Obamacare being implemented is no big deal?

  5. ROGirl said on October 4, 2013 at 6:12 am

    It’s bizarro world meets the big lie combined with magical thinking.

  6. David C. said on October 4, 2013 at 6:38 am

    We haven’t received the good news on our medical plan yet. I can hardly wait. We were transferred into a high deductible plan with a health saving account last year. It might be tolerable if we were in our 20s, but with us in our mid 50s and things starting to go wrong, it’s frightening.

  7. alex said on October 4, 2013 at 7:22 am

    David, I’m in a HSA plan and though I meet my deductible of $3K every year, my contribution and that of my employer is much greater and so I have a very nice cushion of cash that has accumulated over the years. My meds cost around $400 a month and I pay for them out of the savings in the account. Around August or September or so, when I’ve reached the deductible, the plan picks up everything at 100 percent. So even in your 50s, it can be worthwhile so long as you manage not to have any major problems for a couple of years while you grow your savings. Whatever you contribute is yours and when you retire and go on Medicare, you can cash it out like an IRA.

    My employer also offers a so-called traditional plan with low deductibles, but you pay more for it and don’t get to keep whatever you don’t spend. I don’t know why anyone would opt for such a plan anymore.

  8. Deborah said on October 4, 2013 at 7:29 am

    My rightwing sister as been emailing me nonstop, telling me all the things “wrong” with Obamacare. One of her reasons was that eventually 11 million illegal immigrants will be made legal and they’ll all be subsidized on Obamacare which taxpayers will pay for. She also said that the cost of Obamacare will crash 1/6th of the economy… and on and on. She sounds desperate to convince me.

  9. alex said on October 4, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I forgot to mention, as it was explained to me by our plan administrator, the HSA model is much closer to how health insurance originally worked before people began using it to pay for discretionary purchases and without any regard for the cost of anything, which is what is now known as the “traditional” plan.

  10. Deborah said on October 4, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Has

  11. beb said on October 4, 2013 at 8:04 am

    I’ll vote for Jeff @1 for the win. ‘Angels has been texting me!’

    Someone, before the shutdown, wrote that the Republican positioning was beginning to sound like some gangbanger: ‘we’ve been disrespected and someone’s going to pay for that!’ At the time he was just paraphrasing the mood of the R’s, Stutzman’s comment pretty much encapsulates the thinking in a pithy sound-bite. And the sad thing is that when people start talking like that there’s no where to back-down. The government shutdown could be over in a minute if Boehner just brought the Senate bill to the floor. All the Dems would vote for it and with perhaps a dozen R’s the bill would pass, the government would reopen, just in time for the hostage taking on the debt ceiling. Of course if the Speaker were to bring the Senate bill to a vote he would be tossed from his office post haste, and apparently for all the misery the speakership has imposed on him Boehner wants to be soeaker more than he wants to be a loyal American.

  12. beb said on October 4, 2013 at 8:05 am

    That should either be ‘angels have been texting me’ or ‘angels haz been texting me.’ Sorry.

  13. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 4, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Actually, the ACA makes it a little bit more illegal for medical coverage to be extended to undocumented workers, which is going to push more problems away from prevention and early intervention and back into ERs.

    And the rising costs of health care is already crashing sectors of the economy, that’s why we have to do something, even if we can’t find something everyone agrees is the best solution.

    I can’t resist: Nancy, ARE YOU IN THE LORD’S ARMY? ARE YOU A SUNBEAM FOR JESUS?

  14. Linda said on October 4, 2013 at 8:42 am

    For the duration of sign up for Obamacare (ACA), Snopes and factcheck will be the bestest friends a reference librarian can have. They have regular roundups of Obamacare urban legends and emails, and Snopes has a searchable database. Sometimes, I get the threads in facebook and leave something in there from them.

  15. Linda said on October 4, 2013 at 8:42 am

    No, No, here are the links: http://www.snopes.com and http://www.factcheck.org. How did those links go so wrong?

  16. coozledad said on October 4, 2013 at 9:17 am

    The guys who killed Sheppard are just part of a large group wandering around the earth with, as Nabokov put it, second rate jellies in their heads. They like to kill.

    Access to safe, legal abortion and improved prenatal care would reduce their numbers, and emptying prisons of nonviolent offenders to concentrate on incarcerating scum would be another help. Republican voter rolls would take a big hit, but free societies can’t afford to have that trash running around.

  17. BigHank53 said on October 4, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Jeff, you make me think of the best sign I ever saw outside of a church. It was one of those self-illuminated ones with the pop-in letters, like you usually see outside a rural convenience store. Anyway, the message was:

    ARE YOU HANDCUFFED TO JESUS?

    I turned to my traveling companion and said, “I hadn’t known that Jesus was into that kind of thing…did you?”

    Coozledad, I am reminded of the story that has become so common it can’t even make the front page any more: man shoots his ex-wife (and possibly her current partner) then goes home and waits for the police to show up and arrest him. What the fuck kind of useless and defective thinking produces that? Why didn’t you just drive your pickup into a bridge abutment? D’you think prison (or getting executed in fifteen years) was going to be more fun? Or were you that fucking desperate to have somebody pay attention to you?

  18. Peter said on October 4, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Oy, the things you hear about this government dysfunction is making me craaaaaaazy.

    The grad student’s essay: Geez, will you just take a deep breath? This is the same thing as a prolonged snow day, or your internet going down: it will be back up once the kids figure it out, and your supervisors and teachers will cut you slack because they know you couldn’t do your job/research. There’s the slim possibility that they read the papers and might have heard something about a government shutdown.

    The congressman and the Park Service warden: Perhaps you saw the clip of the congressman dressing down a Park Service ranger yesterday at the WWII monument. First, you’re yelling at her about the closure as if she decided all by herself to shut the place down. Stay classy.

    On the other hand, it does bug me that the government does these theatric closures to show how bad it is the the government can’t operate. To me,it never seems that the supervisors, or compliance officers, or management liasons get sent home during the shutdown; it’s the actual line workers who get sent packing. As an example, say if some tragedy hits a newspaper or website, they don’t keep the accountants and marketing reps going and shut the site down, they do what they can to keep the place running.

    Finally, I don’t buy the lie that there are only a few teabaggers holding the place hostage. If that were the case, the rest of the GOP would vote for a resolution with the Dems and Boehner wouldn’t have to worry about keeping his plush office, but they fear the teabaggers more than they did Joe McCarthy, and that’s saying something.

  19. brian stouder said on October 4, 2013 at 9:56 am

    On the other hand, it does bug me that the government does these theatric closures to show how bad it is the government can’t operate.

    Well, it is worth noting that the capital police involved in yesterday’s life-and-death ‘theatrics’ were not being paid with anything other than IOUs (and we’ll leave aside the non-theatrical reality of kids staying home from cancelled Head Start programs, and others missing out on medical treatments)

  20. Bitter Scribe said on October 4, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I guess those Ole Miss football players are better at taunting gays than they are at scoring on Alabama.

    Peter, you have it exactly backwards. If Boehner brought to the floor a deal that depended on Democratic support, that’s when he’d have to worry about losing his office.

  21. Jolene said on October 4, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Peter, you have it exactly backwards. If Boehner brought to the floor a deal that depended on Democratic support, that’s when he’d have to worry about losing his office.

    Exactly right. Although that’s likely what will eventually happen, it’s what he’s trying to avoid.

  22. brian stouder said on October 4, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Bitter, to me, that’s the irony of the whole angry white member of Congress at the war memorial spectacle.

    People whose “choice” was – do their duty and take that hill (or that tree line, or that beach on some god forsaken little island literally in the middle of nowhere)…

    or not to do their duty….THOSE people were on the horns of an existential dilemma.

    The angry white Republigoon congress are a bunch of weenies, and Boehner is the timid orange Speaker of the Weenies

  23. coozledad said on October 4, 2013 at 10:55 am

    That angry white member of congress, Neugebooger or Neugebargle shouldn’t even be at the WWII memorial, cause his side got their clocks cleaned by the Russians. The sad truth of his position as a virulent white ethnic is there aren’t enough people who agree with him to kill all the people who don’t, and it makes his distended asshole throb with the closest thing he’ll ever experience to emotional pain.

    His name even sounds like one of the jackasses Hitler kept flying in to Stalingrad to make certain the pile of corpses was as tall as it could be made. I’m surprised some of those old vets don’t take their canes to all those fucking krauts showing up at the war memorial, Bachmann especially. She reminds me of Martha Gellhorn’s recollection of German housewives pointing at their damaged furniture in the wake of the Allied advance and bitching and moaning about it. Good thing Martha was able to tell them to fuck themselves with one of the crude, inefficient chainsaws of the era auf Deutsch.

    You know if that motherfucker’s read any history at all, it’s that David Irving shit.

  24. Charlotte said on October 4, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Mark H — do you all have snow in Jackson this morning? We have probably six inches or so here — lovely. Thank goodness it isn’t more or we’d have broken trees all over town. Second year in a row we haven’t gotten a hard frost before snow –used to get a frost end of August, then a hard one in the middle of September —

    Our big story here is that some old man who was driving from Alaska to Texas was hit on the interstate before dawn early in the week. Looks like he was hit a couple of times, everyone’s assuming by drivers who didn’t realize it was a person. Worst part? They found part of his face in the car wash here in town!!! Ack!!! So horrible. http://www.livingstonenterprise.com/content/police-pursue-lead-i-90-death

  25. beb said on October 4, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Jay Ackroyd, gust posting at Eschaton made an interesting suggestion about the government shut-down. Forgot about shutting down the little things like that Parks Service, furlough the FAA, thereby shutting down all air travel. That would get people’s attention. And it’s not like air travel is critical to national security or anything. Close it down. Close Amtrak down. Close down the FDA so no foods can be produced bebcause there are no inspectors. People think the government shut-down is no big deal because the administration has gone out of its way to label as many workers as possible as ‘essential.’

  26. Sherri said on October 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

    The “theatric” closures are just the ones that make good pictures so the media covers them. Those aren’t the only closures and shutdowns happening, as that James Fallows story I linked to pointed out. There are all sorts of short-term but not immediate tasks that the government does that aren’t “essential” – like the CDC monitoring infectious disease outbreaks, with flu season just around the corner. Those people? Sitting home.

  27. Deborah said on October 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

    It’s supposed to get down to 28 or 29 tonight in Santa Fe, the high today around 57. They’re saying this little freeze will shorten the color show of Aspens turning golden up in the mountains and hills around town. We’re going to take a drive up to the ski basin this afternoon, it should be glorious. Maybe this weekend we’ll drive the High Road up to Taos. This is my favorite time of year here. Sunday marks the anniversary of the first day of my retirement. What a great year it has been.

  28. brian stouder said on October 4, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Deborah – very cool! (so to speak)

  29. alex said on October 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Deborah, it seems like barely any time has passed at all. It also doesn’t seem quite real to me that it’s exactly nine years ago that I left Chicago. Where did it all go?

  30. Connie said on October 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Here are the details you asked for yesterday regarding insurance coverage. The regular stuff, 80/20, 1,000 deductible, single 55.74 per two week paycheck, 125.40 for 2, 150.48 for family. I have the buy-up plan which is no deductible, 100% coverage and has lower co-pays for visits and prescriptions. Cost for 1 is 87.83 per two week paycheck, and 197.61 for two. So I am paying not quite 400 per month for top of the line coverage. The better copay for prescriptions makes a difference of about 200 a month which is why I selected it. It has turned out to be worth every penny.

    In other news I saw my orthopedic surgeon today and I do not have a fractured shoulder as suspected, rather severe tendonitis of the rotator cuff.

  31. Connie said on October 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    And increase for basic plan was$5 per paycheck for two persons. Increase for the buy-up plan was around $40 per two week paycheck.

  32. Julie Robinson said on October 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Connie, I had that a few years back and it can be a bitch. They shot me up and then sent me to the best physical therapist ever. He helped me learn coping mechanisms like better posture and carrying a lighter purse cross-body, but best of all, no-pain home exercises. I still have to be careful but I can pull out my PT exercises if the pain returns. So many people have told me that PT was torture, but given the right therapist it can be miraculous.

  33. LAMary said on October 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Tendonitis can be really painful. My right arm from elbow to hand can really cause me grief. PT helps, but if I don’t take care it comes back.

  34. coozledad said on October 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    LAMary: acupunture can be good for those soft tissue injuries, but it’s not like you can walk around the hospital with needles hanging out of your arm. If the inflammation is partly due to a muscle spasm, try some lemon balm tea.

    Our garden is overrun with it this year, so I’ve been harvesting bales of it and stuffing some in my pillow or bruising a small amount of it and wearing it to bed in a dust mask. It has some anti-spasmodic properties and seems to be especially helpful in piriformis syndrome.

  35. nancy said on October 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Gee, thanks for that image of you in bed with a lemon balm-stuffed dust mask on your face. Do you also sleep in an old gray union suit?

  36. coozledad said on October 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I asked my wife “Does this make me look crazy?” All i got was that thousand yard stare.

  37. coozledad said on October 4, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    And she adds “He sleeps in an old gray birthday suit.”

  38. Prospero said on October 4, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    About Alex@4: My death planning counseling: Throw my ass in the marsh and let the gators be fed. It’s painful to think Americans harbor such communal stupidity they buy any of that shit. It’s like the asshole Tejas Rep. berating the Park Service Ranger at the WWII site. He cut off her pay, and she is on the job. Somebody should have ripped that asshole a new one. Can people actually be stupid enough to refuse to realize that Boner is in the Teabanger deathgrip and he’s fighting for his political life, i.e. bellying up to the bar with a Marlboro at Trusty’s Full Serve 5:15 every night.

    If Cooze has a union suit, you can bet it’s old and gray.

    GOPers say fuck the Executive, Fuck the Congress, Fuck the Supreme Court, Fuck the voters, fuck the Heritage Foundation, Fucke our last Pretzeldential nominee, we’re Gumby, dammit! Fuck the gubmint. And all they want is for the Dems to shitcan a law legally enacted and given the imprimatur of a Supreme Court stuffed with paleoconservative activist judges. Nixon suborned the Constitution. These Teabangers and their pitiful hostages like Boner want to just abrogate the Constitution. I still say they could all be tried for treason based upon Article III, Section 3, for signing Norquist’s idiotic and unpatriotic Pledge. Summary execution by firing squad.

    All of the current pop tarts should be made to take a MasterClass with Deborah Harry, including what’s good music and how to behave (and how to dress and do makeup too, if that’s not too sexist an attitude). Consider the former Playmate’s thoughtfulness and intelligence in this interview. Shit, she managed to make Disco sound decent.:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGU_4-5RaxU

    Best of two worlds. Some intellectual heft and seriously gorgeous. Maybe Chrissie Hynde can show up for a guest lecture.

  39. LAMary said on October 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    My tendonitis is from too much mousing. The data base I work in all day has almost zero typing but lots of mouse work, and if I don’t move my arm around occasionally, I find myself in great pain at the end of the day, and even more after I go to bed.

  40. Prospero said on October 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    That photo of Debby Harry is pretty much awe-inspiring, no? She sang all those Blondie songs without benefit of Autotune. Talented woman.

    I was born in Cincinnati, and before Dusty Baker truncated into a SF Jint, he was one of my favorite players, ever. So this shit is disturbing. Cincinnati OH was the capital of the US slave trade. And a day after Yasiel Puig gets booed in Atlanta for being an uppity black guy, and gets plunked by a Braves pitcher, a Hall-of-Famer gets fired from managing a team that was until recently owned by a Hitler-phile.

  41. brian stouder said on October 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Cincinnati OH was the capital of the US slave trade

    New York City was up to its gilded eyebrows in the financial end of the slave-trade, including the (immensely remunerative) commissioning of slave ship expeditions, along with trading all the commodities produced by enslaved people in America.

    Would Mitt Romney (et al) have called these guys “makers” or “takers”? (I think he’d have called them “friends” and “neighbors”)

  42. Chris in Iowa said on October 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    No one commented on the old, gray birthday suit remark? That is a visual I did not need to take into the weekend.

  43. brian stouder said on October 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Chris – word! That the comment is ascribed to his (no doubt) lovely wife gives it the ring of truth, too.

    Speaking of lovely wives, here’s a story that makes me recoil (so to speak) on the one hand, and which is darkly humorous, on the other.

    It reminded me of the crazy couple in the original Tremors movie, that blast and blast and blast away, ’til they kill the burrowing critter in their basement.

    http://www.wane.com/news/indiana/prosecutor-details-hancock-co-homicide

    an excerpt:

    Officers say Elizabeth Roberts shot and killed her husband on Sept. 27. Court documents revealed Elizabeth told Hancock County Sheriff’s Department officials that morning her husband of 31 years, Gary, was acting irrational and dangerous. She said he had been drinking alcohol, mixing it with prescription medication, and had a large number of firearms, ammunition, and explosives in their basement. Thursday, the Hancock County Prosecutor’s office determined Roberts would not face charges in the incident, as she was preventing a mass casualty situation by killing her spouse

    and

    According to court documents, the gun arsenal included .50 caliber fully-automatic machine guns, numerous assault rifles — some of which were fully automatic — sniper rifles, various other kinds of rifles, numerous shotguns, and a wide assortment of handguns. Gary was also the owner of a federal firearms license and was “very proficient” in the use of his weapons.

    Gary then reacted irrationally: [emphasis added by me!] loading guns and threatening to shoot police if they came to the home, Griffin said.Elizabeth feared for the life of others, given his recent violent behavior. Elizabeth also feared that if she only wounded her husband, he would retaliate against her.

    Therefore, she fired one shot from her .38 caliber revolver into Gary’s chest. The one gunshot killed him.

    She’s a Sagamore of the Wabash, I’d say

  44. Jolene said on October 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Chris, that comment made me laugh, as with almost everything that Cooz writes. As all women know, there is no more important quality in a man than his sense of humor, no matter what the state of his birthday suit.

  45. beb said on October 4, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Here’s an interesting long comment about what motivates the Republicans in Congress.
    http://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-punishers-want-to-run-country-or-we.html

    The short take is that some people hate the idea of not being able tip their waiters because they love the idea of being able to punish waiters for suspected bad service. They like the sense of the power.

  46. David C. said on October 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Alex @ 7. We were hit with my wife having to have Mohs surgery for a basal cell skin cancer early in the first year and a $6000 bill. So we had to pay $2250 ($3000 – 750 company contribution). I could have dipped into our savings to pay it off and would have if they had offered an additional discount but no dice. So they let me pay $150 a month without interest until it’s paid off. Not a bad deal really. I do wish I had more time to build up a cushion, and our old plan had an HRA, health reimbursement account which had $1750 in it. Unfortunately, that was zeroed out when they switched to the HSA. Rarely has one letter difference been so expensive.

  47. MarkH said on October 4, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Charlotte — Yes, we had a surprise 2 inch coating here in the valley this morning. Got colder than expected and the recent non-stop rain became snow. Two feet or more in the Tetons on top of an earlier dump. But the real dump of as much as two feet was east of the divide in the Washakie and Bighorn Mountains and Basin. Which is why you got so much as well.

    Prospero, I grew up there and you paint an inaccruate picture of Cincinnati during slavery. As a border city on the Ohio River, separating slave-legal Kentucky from slave-banned Ohio, of course it’s going to be a center of activity. For the trade, sure, but more so for abolitionists, as it was among several ‘depots’ of the underground railway along the river, instrumental in transporting slaves to freedom in the northern states. Before the civil war it was indeed the scene of several major riots victimizing blacks freed from slavery. But Cincinnati can’t be described as ‘THE capital of the US slave trade’. At least not the way you intended.

    And, Brian — Willard Romney, Slave Trader? WTF.

  48. susan said on October 4, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    LAMary @39- Have you ever tried using a “graphics tablet” instead of a mouse? I use one made by Wacom. It makes using a mouse seem like using a tennis shoe.

  49. Sherri said on October 4, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    How long will the Republicans hold out? If it’s weeks instead of days, development of next year’s flu vaccination could become a problem: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/10/a-few-ways-the-government-shutdown-could-harm-your-health-and-the-worlds/

    It makes you wonder: do the Republicans even know what the government does? Or in their Randian fantasies, does influenza only affect the takers, not the makers?

  50. Minnie said on October 4, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Jolene @ 44. Amen. And vice versa.

  51. alex said on October 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    David, I just had my first basal cell cancer ever removed this year. I wish I had’t been in denial about it for the last five years and got ‘er done back then, because it would have cost less and I wouldn’t have a hole in my face. It got me to my deductible this year much sooner than usual.

    I’m still not sure the HSA is the perfect solution and worry that the rug could get pulled out from underneath me at any time. But having spent a decade living by my wits as a self-employed scribe with an individual policy with a high premium that doubled every year despite my never having made a claim, I can’t complain. Every two years or so I had to shop for a new policy. This was between 1994 and 2004. It would cost about $1 grand the first year, $2 grand the next and $4 grand after that, and I didn’t wait for it to leapfrog to $8K. I’d just go get signed up with a new carrier for $1 grand again and start the process over.

    Bad as that sounds, this is what the exchanges are supposed to provide—competition in a system that’s so rigged anyway that the only losers are the consumers regardless, but at least you get a traveler’s teensy sampler tube of KY with your new policy.

  52. brian stouder said on October 4, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Willard Romney, Slave Trader? WTF.

    MarkH – I’ll take that back.

    It IS worth noting, though, that the bartender/caterer guy who recorded the devastating “47%” video of Willard speaking to his high-dollar donors during the last campaign was motivated to do so after being flabbergasted by Willard’s glowing praise for a (Chinese? Indian?) factory he had toured, which was about one step up from a forced-labor camp.

  53. Prospero said on October 5, 2013 at 4:58 am

    RMoney: “I can’t have illegals working here. I’m running for President.”

    And maybe not a slave trader, but surely a war criminal:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/08/mitt-romney-death-squads-bain_n_1710133.html

    DavidC@46: Wasn’t the $1750 legally your money. If not, why not? It was surely a part of your legal compensation for work you did. This sounds like GOPers trying to steal my money that I paid into SSI and Medicaid for years. They can write me a check tomorrow for all of that cash, and I will be gone to Uruguay and never vote against their crooked asses again. The GOPer atacks on SSI and Medicare are a complete legal absurdity, kinda like using flamingos as upside down croquet mallets. Neither program is in the remotest danger of financial trouble, and neither has dick to do with the deficit. If you hear otherwise, you are hearing disinformation from the Right (that is invariably wrong).

  54. Prospero said on October 5, 2013 at 5:22 am

    For the trade, sure, but more so for abolitionists, as it was among several ‘depots’ of the underground railway along the river, instrumental in transporting slaves to freedom in the northern states. Before the civil war it was indeed the scene of several major riots victimizing blacks freed from slavery.

    They just sold the bucks there. It is not an inaccurate description.

  55. David C. said on October 5, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Prospero, apparently the money wasn’t mine. I don’t even know where it went. I imagine since the company came up with $300 million to buy back their own stock this year that the money bought a few of some hedge fund billionaire’s shares.

  56. Prospero said on October 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    DaviedC@55: You were robbed by VentureCapitalits. Serious assholes.

  57. brian stouder said on October 5, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I’m actually eagerly awaiting Sherri’s and Prospero’s post-game comments, regarding Tennessee and Georgia. (I caught the end, and enjoyed it)

  58. Sherri said on October 5, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I missed the game, unfortunately. I didn’t expect it to be an interesting game, so my husband and I went to see Gravity instead. Gravity is really good, definitely worth seeing in the theater. We saw it in Imax 3D, and if you can see it that way, it’s worth it. I usually avoid 3D and Imax, because I don’t think either adds much to most movies, but in this case, instead of being assaulted by the 3D, I felt pulled in by it.

  59. beb said on October 6, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Call this new advances in beggary:

    Friday I saw a bum making a new approach to begging. Most of the bums we have around here are emaciated men in their 50s, wearing second hand clothes and holding a neatly letter piece of cardboard asking for help. This guy was in his 30s, wearing dockers and a nice shirt holding up a neatly lettered piece of cardboard declaring that he needed gas. He even had a 2-gallon plastic gas can at his feet for authenticity. The big tell was the nicely lettered cardboard – block letters almost stencil quality straight and filled in with no streaking or writing outside the lines. It was so professionally made, not at all the time a guy would scribble if he were really out of gas and money and needed to get home….

  60. coozledad said on October 6, 2013 at 11:04 am

    There should be a De-Reaganization akin to De-Stalinization. The old Reagan people engineered this shutdown, and they need to rot in isolation. Don’t give a fuck how old or mewly they are at this point:
    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2013/10/06/a_crisis_planned_for_months.html

  61. Prospero said on October 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Well, Cooze@60, the International Criminal Court should be the starting point, and Dickless and Rummy should be the first contestants, followed closely by Kissinger, Elliot Abrams and Daniel Pipes and the big foolish moustache guy. Pretty much everybody that signed that PNAC letter to Clinton about blowing up Iraq, back in ’98, and succeeded in talking the chimp into it a few years later. Hell, their patron saint is R. Raygun, and he’d get teabanged out of the GOP these days. And remember GOP stands for Grand Old Party. Like Guy Grand, he’s a grand guy. See you at the company sto… Er, Sam’s Club. When are them Koch’s buying those pikers out for America’s sake? Walton’s don’t even do bidness with Ayatollahs.

    Know how them GOPers get all heated up about American exceptionalism? Try Third World. What did that Mr. Maguire say was the one word for Oliver to remember, in The Graduate? Plastics? Well, hell. Them scientists will take gubmint money and tell people the climate is changing. Can’t trust anybody with a brain.

    The game should not have been close, but it seems that SEC officiating squads have bought into the willing suspension of Pass Interference aired first in last week’s LSU game. One a Georgia receiver gets past 5yds. downfield, you tackle him. Dawgs will find a way, and having the best QB in the country helps. I’d like somebody to explain what other team could lose two RBs like Gurley and Marshall and still win. Oh, and without their best receiver. And their punter and both starting safeties. And grad-student Murray looked off the play to make the throw to Wooten to tie the score. Extremely heady play Johnny football won’t be making anytime soon, unless there is money in it for him.

  62. coozledad said on October 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    From Taegan Goddard also too:
    Republican Congressman to Byron York on the current fiscal crisis:Republican Congressman to Byron York on the current fiscal crisis:

    “I would liken this a little bit to Gettysburg, where a Confederate unit went looking for shoes and stumbled into Union cavalry, and all of a sudden found itself embroiled in battle on a battlefield it didn’t intend to be on, and everybody just kept feeding troops into it. That’s basically what’s happening now in a political sense. This isn’t exactly the fight I think Republicans wanted to have, certainly that the leadership wanted to have, but it’s the fight that’s here.”

    Ahem

    My beloved Rowena Dinette:

    A couple of days ago we was out admiring the beautiful summer weather here in Yankeeland and thinkin’ it would be nice to score a pair of Bally wingtips or Bruno Maglis from some lobbyists and shut down the government, when we run across on a them health care exchange units and opened fire. Well goddamn if they didn’t come right back at us & run us near to Dupont Circle and a few of us had to dump our knapsacks. We lost a couple of boys over by the WWII memorial, pinned down by heavy camera crews in one of the biggest photo ops I’ve seen since Seven Pine. Sadly, one of us was forced by a barrage of media criticism to return our paycheck.

    General Cruz showed up at the waterin’ hole and tole General Boehner “I know you supported me when I was crazy, but yer on yer second fifth of Johnny Walker in a 24 hour period, and I kin only stand behind a drunk for so long before I stab him in the kidneys.”

    And by gum, he did. It was a fine thing by our lights, two gentlemen of their rank wallowing and fratricidin’ and we commenced a choppin’ at each other in admiration, until Cruz got down on his knees and said “I’m about to ask you boys to make the ultimate sacrifice. You’ve got to get out there and make sure Louis Gohmert isn’t the dumbest hairless incubus behind federal lines. And remember, if they cut every one of you down, It is not at all my fault.”

    I must leave this for now. A camera crew is visible on the horizon…

  63. brian stouder said on October 6, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Good God, Cooz – these people really have consumed the Kool Aid!

    Uncle Google got me this:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/gop-congressman-we-stumbled-into-war-over-obamacare/article/2536874

    Observe the circular logic at the core of this apologia for our current congressional Republigoon circle-jerk

    The result of Reid’s intransigence, coming after multiple Republican miscalculations, was that both sides dug in. Whatever chance there had been of a settlement before — and there really wasn’t much of one [emphasis added by me. I like the honesty there, and the quick return to the “strategy” of simply saying the Democrats ‘won’t compromise’, a key talking point, as Senator Aqua Budha informed the world via Senator McConnell’s open-mike the other day] informed us once the events of August began to unfold — there was zero possibility of a deal as September 30 approached.

    See – Reid is “intransigent” because the GOP just wants something good – even though they don’t know what that even is (Thanks, Mr Klutzman)

  64. Sherri said on October 6, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    From the NYTimes article:

    On the immediate issue of the budget impasse that has shuttered much of the government, Mr. Boehner acknowledged that in July he had gone to the Senate majority leader, Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, and offered to have the House pass a “clean” spending measure. That proposal would have set spending levels $70 billion below what Democrats wanted but would have had no controversial add-ons related to the health care law.

    Democrats accepted, but now they say Mr. Boehner reneged when a faction of conservative House Republicans rejected the strategy as capitulation on the health insurance program.

    The speaker explained, “I and my members decided the threat of Obamacare and what was happening was so important that it was time for us to take a stand. And we took a stand.”

    “I thought the fight would be over the debt ceiling,” Mr. Boehner said. “But you know, working with my members, they decided, well, let’s do it now. And the fact is, this fight was going to come, one way or the other. We’re in the fight.”

    But the problem is that the Democrats won’t negotiate. How do you negotiate who can’t agree among themselves with what is acceptable?

    They don’t want an agreement. They want to blow things up. They may not be lobbing shells at Ft. Sumter, but they’re trying to blow things up.

  65. Deborah said on October 6, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Did any one read Nicholas Kristoff in today’s NYT Review section? Maureen Dowd was once again embarrassing unfortunately, the kind of column that will give the rightwing a reason to gloat about stupid liberals. I’d link except I can’t right now.

  66. coozledad said on October 6, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Modo’s just a living, breathing reinforcement of a couple of male constructs left over from “Ryan’s Daughter”, but without the babe. Anyone, male or female, with daddy that hot on their brain needs to seek a different field. One that doesn’t involve writing things one thinks.

    My theory is that in Ireland, she’d have been some functionary in a convent who trained women to piss discreetly through a funnel, so as not to make a rattle.

  67. brian stouder said on October 6, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    I dunno, Cooz; she seems to be almost a little….(Ayn) randy

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/opinion/sunday/dowd-welcome-to-ted-cruzs-thunderdome.html?ref=maureendowd&_r=0

    Because there was no endgame, the capital’s hunger games ended in a gray void. Because there was no clean bill, now there is only a filthy stench. Because there was no wisdom, now there is only rot. The instigators, it turned out, didn’t even know what they were arguing for. Macho thrusts and feints, competing to win while the country lost.

    Thomas Jefferson’s utopia devolved into Ted Cruz’s dystopia.

    etc etc

    but then I followed that link to THIS one –

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/sunday-review/the-benefits-of-intransigence.html?src=recg

    and the photograph is the whole draw. Raphael Eduardo in a DC elevator, with two handsome and somewhat bashful young bucks modestly looking away from the camera; the camera which Raphael is favoring with his “come hither” eyes (and a somewhat ill-fitting suit jacket, with the bottom of his necktie peaking out bast the lower edge of his somewhat distressed jacket…but we digress)
    She loves all of Raphael’s thrusts and feints, and she knows it!

  68. Brandon said on October 8, 2013 at 12:45 am

    I’m surprised some of those old vets don’t take their canes to all those fucking krauts showing up at the war memorial, Bachmann especially.

    Of course, Eisenhower himself was a German American as is Barack Obama, but not Michele Bachmann (whose family is Norwegian).

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